About the shingles vaccine

  • Shingrix® is the vaccine administered in the Yukon to prevent shingles.
  • The shingles vaccine lowers the risk of getting shingles significantly and reduces the chance of complications from this disease
  • Shingrix is a non-live vaccine that has been shown to be 90 per cent effective in preventing shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia which is a type of severe pain that lasts months to years after shingles disease.
  • The vaccine is given as 2 doses, 6 months apart

  • There is an increased risk of shingles for older adults. While it is not a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful.
  • Shingrix is recommended for individuals ages 50 and older. In Yukon, it is currently free for adults ages 65 to 79 years old.
  • Those who have had shingles disease are still eligible to get this vaccine but must wait at least 1 year after having active infection or a live shingles vaccine (Zostavax).
  • You should not get the vaccine if you currently have shingles disease.
  • Immunocompromised adults 18 years of age and older may be eligible. Speak with your local health care provider to discuss if you qualify to get this vaccine.
  • Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection which causes a painful rash.
  • Shingles is a painful condition caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus. After someone has had chickenpox, the virus remains inactive in the body. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles
  • About 1 in 3 people will develop shingles, and the risk of developing shingles increases with age.
  • Shingles occurs most frequently in adults over 50 and people who are immunocompromised.
  • You cannot get shingles from someone who has shingles. However, it is possible for individuals who are not immune to chickenpox to get chickenpox from someone with shingles. This is rare and occurs if they come into direct contact with the fluid from the shingles blisters.
  • Rare complications of shingles infection include pneumonia, loss of hearing or vision, scarring, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or death.
  • It’s possible to get shingles after being immunized. However, the vaccine will reduce the severity of infection, including the type of pain that lasts after shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia).
  • This vaccine is safe and very effective. It is shown to decrease the risk of getting shingles by more than 90 per cent.
  • The Shingrix vaccine is the best way to protect against shingles and its complications, including ongoing pain that may last for months to years.
  • This immunization is currently free in the Yukon for people ages 65 to 79 years old.
  • Common reactions to the immunization may include headaches and redness, tenderness, and swelling at the injection site.
  • Some may develop a fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These are generally mild, and only last 1 to 2 days.   
  • Side effects of the immunization are easily relieved by applying a cold and damp compress to the site, administering acetaminophen or ibuprofen for temperatures 38.5°C or higher. See your health care provider if your symptoms are severe or last longer than 48 hours.
  • It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any immunization because there is a rare possibility of developing a severe allergic reaction which is treatable at the clinic. This happens to fewer than 1 in 1 million people. If it happens after you leave the clinic, call 911 or the local emergency number. If you or your child experiences any serious or unexpected reactions,  contact your physician and report all severe reactions to one of the nurses at your local Health Centre.
  • polysorbate 80

Find out how to get immunized